GG1 Electrics - Page 5

To replace their aging fleet of P5a electrics in 1933, PRR commissioned the design of a more powerful, lighter axle load, streamlined body, 100mph electric locomotive.  The Westinghouse R-1 and GE GG-1 prototype electric locomotives were built and tested by the PRR in 1934. Famed designer Raymond Loewy, who would later design the iconic 1939 S-1 Passenger steam locomotive, was hired by the PRR to add an aesthetic carbody to the winning GG-1 design.  The result was the classic, welded body with five gold pinstripes and a Brunswick green paint scheme. 

PRR ordered an initial production run of 57 locomotives that were completed in 1934. PRR built an additional 81 locomotives at their Altoona works from 1937-1943.  In the years following, the GG-1 proved to be the most rugged, reliable, and versatile electric locomotive ever produced. 

Following a successful career on the PRR, Penn Central sold 30 GG-1’s, and leased another 10 units, all taken from series 4890-4938, to Amtrak in 1971.  Upon Conrail’s inception in 1976, CR inherited all other remaining GG-1’s, assigning them their ex-PRR series 4800-4937. 

Conrail ran the GG-1’s in both emergency commuter service, as during the SEPTA strike of April 1977, and in freight service from 1976-1979.  The last freight service run for the GG1's was on November 21, 1979 when 4859 and 4887 pulled Train ENWI-1 with 113 cars out of Enola, headed for Wilmington.


NJT 4877 South Amboy, NJ 7-10-1981

CR-operated NJT GG-1 4877 in PRR livery with rear pan up at South Amboy in July, 1981.

PC GG1 4894 Philadelphia, PA 11-20-1976

Still in PC paint, GG-1 4894 moves light while SW-1 8501 shuffles coaches at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia in August, 1976.

PRR 4935 Enola, PA 6-18-1977

PRR GG-1 4935, restoration completed in May by Amtrak's Wilmington shops to her original Brunswick green and pinstripes, rests at Harrisburg in June, 1977.

PRR 4935 Harrisburg, PA 6-18-1977

As seen at the former PRR engine terminal at Harrisburg, identifying PRR GG-1 4985 as foreign power on Conrail seems very wrong. However, GG-1 4935 was Amtrak, and not Conrail, owned.

Her restoration began January, 1977 and was completed in May, 1977 by the crews of the Wilmington shops. Returned to her original PRR livery with support from the "Friends of the GG-1," 4935 carried out her inaugural run back in Brunswick green and pinstripes on May 15, 1977.

Since that time, 4935 was used in regular service, and was resting this day in June with some splattered road dirt on her nose.

PRR 4935 Philadelphia, 5-15-1977

Five months after Amtrak President Paul Reistrup gave his approval, ex-PRR GG-1 4935 was restored to it's original Brunswick green and pinstripes. Amtrak's Wilmington shops completed the restoration as planned and sponsored by the "Friends of the GG-1," with GG-1 designer Raymond Loewy serving as Honorary Chairman.

On Sunday, May 15, 1977, following a dedication ceremony at Union Station, Altoona-built PRR 4935 made it's inaugural run to New York.

Here, PRR 4935's gleaming Brunswick green paint gives the scene a model-like appearance as she blasts by Arsenal Tower in Philadelphia.

PRR 4935 Philadelphia, 5-15-1977

PRR GG-1 4935 passes by Arsenal Tower in Philadelphia during it's inaugural run from Union Station to New York.

PRR 4935 Philadelphia, 5-15-1977

PRR GG-1 4935 passes by Arsenal Tower in Philadelphia during it's inaugural run from Union Station to New York.

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